On January 24, a reception was hosted by Ambassador Hayashi at his residence to strengthen cooperation with the Sister Cities. This 6th edition was attended by the Governor of Waloon Brabant Mr. Mahieu, Governor of Limburg Mr. Reynders, Alderman of Charleroi Ms. Leclercq, Alderman of Durbuy Mr. Docquier, Alderman of Vilvoorde Mr. El Boudaati, Chairman of the Municipal Council of Mechelen Mr. Backx and other representatives of the Sister Cities, Friendship Ports and other similar relationships with deep ties to Japan. A lively exchange of ideas and strengthening of the networks was made. Ambassador Hayashi stated that this year will be a milestone for Japan, with the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor and His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince acceding to the throne, and that it is to be expected that high level people-to-people exchanges will henceforth intensify. The Ambassador furthermore said he hopes that at the same time, people-to-people exchanges rooted in the Sister Cities and Friendship Ports would develop further, and expressed his gratitude to all those involved. Following the speech, Japanese cuisine, sake and Japanese wine were enjoyed together, making it a good opportunity to further promote the networks between those involved and the Sister Cities relations.